23 February 2009

Hello Neglectarinos!

In the words of Ned Flanders, this post is do-didley-belate-arino. And he would be correct. Let's catch up by me throwing a bunch of mess together and you deciding to read it or scroll by while screaming LA LA LA LA so that nothing leeks into your head.

I quit my job.

Yeah. It was great. I feel good. I have decided that 2009 is the year of working for myself, because I am an awesome boss. I was working seventy hours a week, on average, at the restaurant. In the beginning, I didn't really mind it, because I felt like I was learning. I could forgive the poor accounting, late paychecks, and strange directives the owners would issue because I was getting to cook some amazing food and was really enjoying learning how a kitchen should (and more importantly, should not) be managed. But after explaining for like the tenth time that our paychecks were late, or we were only getting paid for half of the pay period, or that we were out of butter or milk or wine or carrots or some other mundane thing, I decided I was done. I don't mind explaining my own incompetence away, but it's unpleasant to do it for others. I will defend my employers to a point, but beyond that point I will grab my pitchfork and torch and join the others demanding what is theirs.

So now I am one of those people who earns a living doing a little of this or a little of that. It feels weird, but also organic. I consult for a pasta company on shelf-life issues. I am organizing a series of cooking classes for a local kitchen store. I have a little catering lined up. I assist another chef who teaches. I hope to do a little personal chef work. And since I have an attention span of exactly five minutes, it's good to have a lot of projects on the go. I still wake up at night sweating profusely, dreaming about running out of money and having to live off of J.'s tip money (the shame! the shame!). Sometimes I worry that it's not a career in the standard sense. Then I remember that I am my own boss and that, midwestern upbrining be damned, maybe I am one of those people who work to live, and not the other way around. It's been the best resolution I have ever made.


Yes, yes, the excitement is over. But still, I got to be there. It was a strange day in DC, to say the least, but my favorite image has nothing to do with the ceremony and pomp; I loved walking under the capitol on the I-365 expressway that had been closed to traffic. It was very post-apocalypse meets Mardis Gras. Which is kind of what I hope for the post-apocalypse period.

But, thanks to Black Jesus, we no longer have to worry about the apocalypse. He's going to fix everything.

more mess to follow...


Anonymous said...

WOW! Congratulations!

I quit my job about a month ago and what I replaced it with is the most fulfilling for of employment happiness I've ever experienced. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that, but the scariest decisions usually have the biggest reward.

Way to go!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

"It was very post-apocalypse meets Mardis Gras. Which is kind of what I hope for the post-apocalypse period."


shann said...

Glad that you're back. i really enjoy reading your blog! and good luck with the new "career path". i have always wanted to do that, but was never brave enough. leap and the net will appear - isn't that what they say?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered becoming a freelance writer? You definitely have the chops for it. I loved this piece.